We have a tag which applies to all kinds of various things. Should we add a synonym of to it for the more than 60 questions about volume calculation?
Or would a separate tag be a good addition?

Or are both options unhelpful?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What is the rationale for having 2 separate tags for "3d space" and "volume"? When would one apply and not the other? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    May 15, 2021 at 15:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ I think the idea is that questions about how characters relate to other creatures and objects in 3d space are somewhat different than “what is the volume of this thing”. \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2021 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ reasons such as that the manoeuvring of battleships in outer space has a distinct group of experts compared to people who calculate optimising the volume of stacked coins in a chest. \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2021 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu Can’t we say something similar about most tags? \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2021 at 15:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ I dare say that volume calculation is well-defined category which follows our general guidance "A tag is a word or phrase that describes the topic of the question. Tags are a means of connecting experts with questions they will be able to answer by sorting questions into specific, well-defined categories. Tags can also be used to help you identify questions that are interesting or relevant to you." \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2021 at 15:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you provide specific examples of questions where "volume" applies but "3d-space" does not? Also, would this then warrant additional tags for calculating weight, area, and other metrics? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeQ
    May 15, 2021 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ yes we have those e. g. area-of-effects and weight for example, This list includes 33 false positives, the rest are mostly about volume calculation. \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2021 at 15:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ What does it mean to be an expert in volume as it pertains to RPGs? And how is that expertise different than expertise relating to the concept of 3d space in RPGs? \$\endgroup\$ May 15, 2021 at 15:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ For reference, the AoE tag doesn't really relate to area in a mathematical sense, but more about how AoE effects in RPGs are dealt with (either with or without a grid, how they're affected/modified by the environment, how they interact with creatures/objects/etc. in said area, and so on). Even with the tag info you've added, it's unclear to me how a [volume] tag would actually be used/useful in practice, at least in a distinct way from [3d-space] or [area-of-effect]. (I'm also only half-awake, so I'd appreciate the clarification :P) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 15, 2021 at 20:04

4 Answers 4


Many games—OK, I’m specifically thinking of Wizards of the Coast era D&D and its spin-offs, but let’s be honest, that’s the overwhelming majority of games played, or at least asked about here—use “volume” in an extremely different sense from “3d space.”

  • “Volume” is an often-arbitrary number assigned to objects and to the limits of containers.

  • “3d space” refers to how one measures positions, ranges, and areas on a battlegrid.

Both function under heavy abstraction, and questions about them almost always have to do with that abstraction—if they didn’t, they’d arguably not be RPG questions in the first place.

Crucially, however, they operate under very different abstractions.

I don’t know what to do with . I’ve voted for NautArch’s suggestion to consider merging it with , since RPGs often use it in much the same way (and the abstractions there are certainly much closer to one another), but I don’t know that’s a great answer. I suppose we could also just keep it, but that also feels off to me, just because it hasn’t been necessary up ’til now, and because it so often is heavily conflated with . Recent D&D even explicitly adds “pounds” of “weight” to things when their volume (or even their shape) is “cumbersome,” except, of course, when it doesn’t.

But I do feel very strongly that should not be synonymized with or replaced by . In this field, the two are just not remotely related to one another.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that they shouldn't be synonymized, if at least because there are some questions mentioning volume that aren't about "3D space". Likewise, I don't think it could be synonymized with weight, for a similar reason. Thus, I think that ultimately we should end up either leaving it as its own tag (if the community feels that it warrants its own tag) - or we should end up removing the tag entirely. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 21, 2021 at 19:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ (Personally, I tend to favor the latter - removing the tag - because the questions I've seen mentioning "volume" seem to be about multiple, very different topics, and largely aren't about volume itself as a concept. In other words, I'm inclined towards not adding a [volume] tag, and instead adding other tags for the topics the questions are actually about where relevant - e.g. [area-of-effect] when talking about the "volume" of a spell AoE, [3d-space] when focused on 3-D combat or similar, [weight] where relevant, etc. I'm not sure how distinct my position on this is from yours, though.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 21, 2021 at 19:37

Just add where applicable.

The tag was created recently and is presently on zero questions. We don’t need to create it and make it a synonym. Just use .

The tag description of already covers questions about volume calculations:

For questions that primarily involve calculations, coordinates, and movement within the imagined 3-dimensional space of the game world.


Add volume considerations to the tag

Instead of just making weight about weight, we can call it and let it handle those types of questions. The idea of handling object weights fits nicely with handling their other physical properties and fits better than trying to shoe-horn 3d-space into handling volume.

I realize this is a very simple answer,but I think this would be a simple solution to this issue.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Duh... eh... reading error! - Taggified for making it pop out more! \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    May 21, 2021 at 12:49

We should restore the tag.

The tag usage for is about 3d-movement, organising 3d-space, navigation, and movement calculations or things in outer space until that concerned retagging effort initiated by Thomas Markov. With the one exception of calculating the hp of a spaceship.

There is no reason to use it for volume calculation when it comes to coins in chests, determining the volume of items, shapes and calculating how many items fit somewhere, e. g., in a portable hole. All these questions have nothing to do with 3d-space navigation, and nobody used the tag like that. Whether system-specific or not, volume calculation is an inherent part of many problems that more than 60 questions represent.

Whether you get an "advantage" by attacking someone from the ceiling or calculating the number of coins of any system-specific currency require a different set of expertise. The volume tag ties together all of these questions about volume, while the 3d-space tag ties together all of those questions about 3d-space navigation, so the appropriate choice is to reverse Thomas Markov's actions that created the orphanage situation of the tag.

No other tag ties together volume calculation - not even the tag that fills a different but similar niche. Nor does the tag, which asks primarily about effects that affect a large zone or have multiple targets, which occasionally includes volume calculation, fill that niche.

was a well-defined tag, and we should not replace it by obscuring the use of the tag, which accumulated fewer than thirty questions over more than ten years and ties together a different specific niche.


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